Science Scope

Need another reason to diet? It's good for your brain.

Need another reason to diet? It's good for your brain.

Posting in Food

A good diet might keep Alzheimer's away.

If a bulging waist line isn't enough to get you to diet properly, then you'll want to make sure you're eating enough vegetables and fish -- to keep that brain of yours performing its best.

Scientists have found that a diet rich in vitamins and omega 3 may keep your brain from shrinking, reports the BBC. According to the study, those who performed better on mental tests and had a larger brain mass were also the ones who ate better.

The study was published in Neurology. Here's the evidence:

  • Blood samples were from 104 healthy people (with an avg age of 87).
  • People with vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids (the kind in fish) in their blood tended to have less brain shrinkage and performed better on mental tests.
  • And people who did the worst on the tests had more trans fats in their blood. That's the kind of fat that's found in junk food.
  • To examine it further, scientists took brain scans of 42 of the subjects. Those who had a better diet of vitamins and omega 3, had a larger brain volume.

Therefore, the scientists concluded that a better diet can keep your brain from shrinking. But of course, the current study was still relatively small and still needs to be confirmed to see if there's really a link between diet and Alzheimer's disease.

Regardless, it brings up an interesting point -- if diets can affect the way you think, then it confirms something we already know in the first place. It's the small decisions like what you'll eat at the dinner table that matter.

via Alzheimer's: Diet 'can stop brain shrinking' [BBC]

Related on SmartPlanet:

Share this

Boonsri Dickinson

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Boonsri Dickinson is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has written for Discover, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Nature Biotech,, and AOL. She's currently a reporter for Business Insider. She holds degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure